When it Rains, it Pours Disaster: British Travellers’ Flooded Misadventures at Dubai Airport

When it Rains, it Pours Disaster: British Travellers’ Flooded Misadventures at Dubai Airport

In what can only be described as nature pulling a rather wet prank, Dubai International Airport, ordinarily a flurry of beaming holidaymakers and suave business folk, turned into a soggy nightmare this week. Forget paddleboards and slides at the waterpark; travellers at Dubai Airport are donning wellies and lifeguards should seriously consider a new checkpoint at terminal three.

The culprit? An uncharacteristically dramatic series of thunderstorms that decided to let loose over the United Arab Emirates. Seemingly forgetting that deserts are meant to be, well, dry, the heavens opened with record-breaking rainfall that left parts of this bustling hub submerged.

Witnesses report sights typically reserved for a bizarre dream sequence, featuring planes wading rather than taxiing down the runways, and passengers barricaded by moats where once there were gates. Fancy a bit of water sports before your flight? Dubai International’s got you covered, it seems.

The world’s busiest airport for international travel has urged folks to steer clear unless “absolutely necessary.” A tweet in desperation – or perhaps afloat – advised travellers to check flight statuses directly with airlines, as workers scrambled with buckets (joking… maybe) to manage the chaos.

Amusingly (or not, if you were caught in it), some flights from London Heathrow, where Brits are presumably fleeing from their own dreary weather, were cancelled, including a particularly unlucky 11.10am Emirates flight. Disappointed holidaymakers expressed their dismay on social media platforms, one stating she had been stuck on a plane destined for London for the better part of a workday. Her review? One star, would not recommend.

Meanwhile, those commuting from London found their initially planned non-stop flight turning into a surprising tour of Abu Dhabi instead, thanks to last-minute diversions. Holiday detour, anyone?

And, if the indoor swimming pools weren’t enough, travellers attempting to reach the airport discovered that the access routes had morphed into rivers. Dubai’s sudden transformation into Venice did not impress many, especially those without a gondola handy.

This intense downpour, termed as “historic” by the local media, was indeed one for the books. It amounted to more than what Dubai typically receives in a year, leaving the city’s sand-swept streets washed out and some vehicles little more than impromptu submarines.

The inundation also forced schools to close doors and prompted government offices to recommend remote work – a call that some might say came a splash too late. Even Dubai’s usually proficient driverless metro saw service disruptions, proving that even robots can’t swim.

Despite the unexpected inclement weather, official damage reports remain on the down-low, with authorities prioritizing rescue and recovery efforts. Nearby, less fortunate regions reported tragic losses, proving this storm is no laughing matter.

So while it’s all fun and games recounting the tale of fish seen swimming alongside terminal baggage carts, it’s also a somber reminder of nature’s power and unpredictability. As for now, if anyone’s planning a last-minute poolside getaway, Dubai unexpectedly boasts the largest pool in the region – though we’d advise against diving in.

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